SpaceX unveils Falcon 9 launch and landing footage and audio

SpaceX has released untold footage of one of its most recent Falcon 9 launches and landings, featuring unprecedented onboard audio from the rocket through all stages of flight.

The rocket, the Falcon 9 booster B1059, ended the months delay when it woke up late at night on August 30, sending a new upper stage, payload fairing, and an Organtian Earth Observation satellite to orbit. Known as the SAOCOM 1B, a pair of synthetic aperture radar satellites launched by SpaceX were deployed from liftoff less than 15 minutes after the Falcon 9, followed by approximately 45 minutes. Two rideshare payloads arrived.

Two minutes after the booster B1059 was launched, the Falcon split off from the rest of the 9 and quickly spread around to burn a boostback – quite literally slowing from Mach 5 to zero and then accelerating several dozen miles back toward the Florida coast. . The rocket ended its fourth launch with a gentle landing in Landing Zone-1, effectively completing an average of ~ 200 km (~ 120 mi) of air travel in under eight minutes, much faster than the speed of sound.

The booster camera video released unexpectedly after the mission was completed in SpaceX, stands out from one thing and above all: a seamless audio recording of the rocket, from liftoff to landing. In the past, SpaceX has occasionally released weird video from the onboard camera of a Falcon 9 booster, the most recent example of which was published in 2016. In another memorable case, SpaceX’s launch of NASA’s TES ExGlanet Observatory in April 2018 was blessed without a booster. Camera footage during the live webcast. SpaceX never technically released that footage on its own, but it was fairly easy to cut from a webcast to offer a clean, uninterrupted view of the Falcon 9 booster launch and landing.

Regardless, in webcasts with all prior examples and booster camera footage, SpaceX has never included audio. It is commonly understood that most modern launch vehicles – including the Falcon 9 – are designed with a number of high-fidelity microphones. Unintuitively, a number of different, time-synchronized audio recordings can be used to actually greatly exacerbate the source of rocket hardware issues in the event of failure – a technique SpaceX introduced in 2015 with the Falcon 9’s first in- Has used its advantage to check for flight failure.

In this case, the audio serves no technical purpose, but provides the best bird-ear perspective of the Falcon 9 launch yet published. Roughly by a factor of four, the SpaceX 1’s SAOCOM 1B Audio captures the passenger jet-esque whine of the Falcon 9’s Merlin 1D turbopramps, the brief lull of the engine cutoff, the whistle and vibrations of the atmospheric reentry, creating cold-gas thrusters. keeps. The rocket’s attitude in the vacuum, and even the clunk of landing leg deployment, among many other notable sounds.

The B1059 runs past its third successful landing towards the LZ-1. (Richard Engle)

Thanks to the relatively benign and low-energy landing resulting from the low Earth orbit required by SAOCOM 1B, the Falcon 9 B1059 will likely be replaced for a fifth launch and for a landing in the very near future. The boosters may also have a shot at breaking SpaceX’s rocket turnaround record – currently just 51 days apart with two launches by the Falcon 9B1058.

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